Want to start a PledgeMusic campaign? The Glass Child shares her tips...
Blog by Louise Dodgson under Artist Managers, Selling & Distributing Your Music
As part of our partnership with PledgeMusic, The Unsigned Guide will be bringing you a series of blogs investigating how bands and artists can get the most out of the platform for their music projects.
PledgeMusic opened its doors in 2009 and today is launching 1000+ new projects each year from all music genres and at all levels - from brand new to developing and also established ‘name’ bands and artists. Last year PledgeMusic, in conjunction with Help Musicians UK, launched the Emerging Artists Fund (EAF) to which over 375 new acts applied for help. The 2016/17 EAF programme will be announced shortly. PledgeMusic is also a member of the PRS for Music International Showcase partnership which offers vital financial support for new artists and bands to play at international conferences and festivals.
PledgeMusic is open to all to build direct-to-fan campaigns to support releasing new albums, EPs and/or singles, DVDs, books, concert tickets, merchandise, special experiences and exclusive offers. All the data generated in your Pledge campaign is shared and PledgeMusic is staffed by music professionals who will help guide and support you through your entire campaign from start to finish. With a community of 3 million plus music fans and rising, the portal offers an unrivalled place to begin the musical journey.
Let's meet Charlotte Eriksson, a.k.a. The Glass Child, who is a PledgeMusic veteran at this point. The platform has allowed Eriksson to build a tight family with her fans around her meaningful melodies. Given her ongoing success and familiarity running a PledgeMusic campaign, we reached out to ask her advice for others considering launching a project of their own.
So Charlotte, why did you choose use PledgeMusic?
I chose to release another record through PledgeMusic because of the community and the platform. Releasing records is no longer about creating it by myself and hoping for fans to pick it up while I sit back and relax; it’s about gathering the people who are excited about what I do and then creating this new album together with them. Through PledgeMusic, I can gather all my people and find all the tools and the space I need to create a whole experience around it.
What have you learnt about yourself as an artist from the experiences?
Practically, I have learned that no matter how much you prepare for a campaign or an album release, you will never be prepared for the amount of work it takes. But as a person and artist, I also learned to enjoy that process because, in the end, that’s exactly what I’ve been dreaming of for so many years — to get to spend my days working on my music and creating a community around it. So I guess what I learned was to sometimes stop and be grateful for having so much to do.
Did you have any reservations before you started?
I was really nervous if anyone would even care. It’s really scary to put yourself out there, asking for help and asking for someone to join you. But also once you’re doing it and you do notice that people care and that you’re not alone. It’s the most beautiful feeling and that gives you all the inspiration you need to get through the campaign.
What has the most recent campaign enabled you to achieve? What does this mean for you in the long-term as an artist?
This campaign really brought my community together. For my first PledgeMusic campaign two years ago, I didn’t really know what it would all be about, and I learned as I went along. For this campaign I was determined to make it all about the community and the experience around my new album. The actual album would just be one last bonus.
I made sure to interact with everyone on the ”discussion” page, made several updates every week and encouraged everyone to comment and interact. I’ve never felt so close to my fans, and the feedback has been that they felt really close to the project too. That was my biggest achievement, and I want to keep that close relationship with everyone even now after the campaign.
Any unexpected or pleasant surprises from running a campaign?
There are always surprises when it comes to technical details, like being on the road and realising the internet is way too slow to upload the song or video you had promised everyone. There are things that you can’t prepare or control, like getting an email from the t-shirt company saying that they’ve had technical issues so my t-shirts, that I was expecting that same day, would be two weeks delayed. These things are always bitter but you just have to see it as a part of the process and make a story about it instead. After all, your fans want to know and see that you’re human, just doing the best you can, because that way they know that their help matters.
Any advice for artists looking to run a campaign?
I’d say decide beforehand what your main purpose for the campaign is, and then focus all your attention on creating content that will help you fulfill that. Prepare as much as you can, but be flexible and spontaneous during the campaign too. Say thank you, be grateful, and see all the hard work as a privilege. All that work it will take to both record and release a record, run a PledgeMusic campaign and at the same time interact with your fans is not something you HAVE to do, it’s something you GET to do. That switch changes everything.
Is there anything else you'd like to share to artists looking to use PledgeMusic?
One last tip is to follow a few other artists who are running successful campaigns and see how they do it. Find bands or artists in the same scene as you, and be inspired by how they interact with their fans, what updates they do, what rewards they offer and how it’s all going. Don’t copy it, but take inspiration from everyone and then create your own campaign that will suit you. You can learn so much by just being on the other side of someone else’s campaign, by following as a fan first. That way you will notice how you want to do things, but also how you don’t want to do things. Observe, prepare, and then just go for it.
To learn more about how you can work with PledgeMusic, sign-up here to talk to one of their Campaign Managers. To be the first to hear of future initiatives, please email [email protected]
the glass child shares tips for emerging bands and artists on releasing your music via a PledgeMusic campaign